Recent Updates

  • Pakistan: BOP (Sep)
  • China Sector: China: Energy Sector Statistics (Sep)
  • China Sector: China: Real Estate Statistics (Sep)
  • China Sector: China: Transportation Statistics (Sep)
  • France: Central Government Debt (Sep), Financing Access Survey (Q3)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

Import Prices Rise Driven by Energy
by Gerald D. Cohen  May 14, 2019

Import prices grew a less-than-expected 0.2% during April (-0.2% year-on-year) following an unrevised 0.6% gain in March. Prices were up 1.0% in February. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected a 0.7% increase in April. These figures are not seasonally adjusted and do not include import duties.

The rise in import prices last month was driven by a 6.1% jump (7.0% y/y) in petroleum import costs, followed gains of 10.2% and 5.3% in February and March. Nonpetroleum import prices declined 0.6% (-1.0 y/y) after 0.2% growth in the prior two months. Among end-use categories, industrial supplies & materials costs excluding petroleum fell 3.3% (-2.6% y/y). Capital goods prices decreased 0.4% (-1.2% y/y). Motor vehicle & parts prices edged down 0.1% (-0.6% y/y). Nonauto consumer goods prices declined 0.3% (-0.6% y/y). Meanwhile, foods, feed and beverage prices jumped 2.8% (1.2% y/y).

Export prices increased a less-than expected 0.2% (0.3% y/y), following a slightly downwardly-revised 0.6% gain in March (was 0.7%). Forecasters' anticipated 0.6% growth in April. Agricultural commodities prices dropped 1.5% last month (-2.8% y/y), more than reversing March's 1.0% rise. Nonagricultural export costs grew 0.4% (0.7% y/y), the third consecutive monthly gain following three months of decline from November to January. The cost of industrial supplies & materials rose 0.9% (0.1% y/y). Motor vehicle & parts prices were up 0.2% (0.6% y/y). Capital goods and nonauto consumer goods prices were both unchanged (1.0% y/y and 0.1% y/y respectively). Meanwhile, nonagricultural food (ie fish) & distilled beverage prices fell 2.0% (-2.9% y/y).

The import and export price series can be found in Haver's USECON database. Detailed figures are available in the USINT database. The expectations figure from the Action Economics Forecast Survey is in the AS1REPNA database.

In February, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco estimated that tariffs implemented on Chinese imports at that time added 0.1 percentage point (ppt) to consumer price inflation and 0.4 ppt to price inflation for business investment goods. They forecasted an across the board 25% tariff on all Chinese imports would raise consumer prices by an additional 0.3 ppt and investment prices an additional 1 ppt.

Import/Export Prices (NSA, %) Apr Mar Feb Apr Y/Y 2018 2017 2016
Imports - All Commodities 0.2 0.6 1.0 -0.2 3.1 2.9 -3.3
  Petroleum & Petroleum Products 6.1 5.3 10.2 7.0 22.0 26.6 -19.7
  Nonpetroleum -0.6 0.2 0.2 -1.0 1.3 1.1 -1.5
Exports - All Commodities 0.2 0.6 0.7 0.3 3.4 2.4 -3.2
  Agricultural -1.5 1.0 0.2 -2.8 0.6 1.5 -5.4
  Nonagricultural 0.4 0.7 0.7 0.7 3.7 2.5 -3.0
close
large image